Celebrating Jean Lobell and 22 Years of Service at CRE

28 May 2024
4 min
New Brand 1023 x 575 px 1
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Jean Lobell (left) at CRE's 40th Anniversary Gala

After 22 years of dedicated service, Jean Lobell, a trusted and respected leader in the New York nonprofit sector, has made the decision to transition from Community Resource Exchange (CRE) to independent consulting. Her impact during her tenure has been nothing short of remarkable.

Jean developed the Leadership Caucus, CRE's prestigious leadership development program for senior executives, and played a pivotal role in establishing our Coaching practice in 2010. Jean's visionary efforts also led to the initiation of CRE's HR and Talent Management practice. Jean has created several original frameworks, tools, and assessments that continue to shape our methodologies and practices today.

Jean's impact extends beyond CRE. Nonprofit leaders, who have partnered with Jean for many years, credit her for transforming their organizations and communities. Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. shares: "I have had the pleasure of working with Jean Lobell for 20 years and across three community based organizations. Whenever we have needed expertise in leadership development and human resources, Jean has been our go-to consultant. We have a stronger team with a culture of growth and learning because of her."

Jean notes, “Joining CRE has been one of the best decisions I have made. However, there is a season for everything, and I have decided to move to another chapter." She sends her deep gratitude to her colleagues and clients for partnering with her in shaping her to be a better consultant and a better person. Their support and collaboration, she said, have given her deeper roots and expansive wings.

We extend our deepest gratitude to Jean for her remarkable service and lasting legacy. If you wish to share any words with Jean, please send them to communications[at]

Messages from the CRE Community

"Jean, it’s been such an honor to work with you over the years. Your partnership on projects, internal and external, and your mentorship have been meaningful to me in my time at CRE. Your impact on CRE team members and our client community is a tremendous legacy. You will be deeply missed by me and the whole CRE community. All the very best to you as you continue your journey of transformative consulting and coaching."
- Jeff Ballow, Senior Advisor

"Jean’s influence on our work has been profoundly felt by all of us! Her dedication, expertise, and passion have truly shaped CRE and set a high standard for excellence. She is a pillar of strength and inspiration, and Jean’s impact on both her colleagues and the community will be long remembered. Jean’s legacy of commitment and innovation is something we will strive to carry forward as we continue CRE’s mission."
- Jen Benstraum, Consultant

"I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you. Over the years, I've learned so much from you, and you have been a true source of inspiration for me. Your wealth of knowledge and your willingness to continually learn and grow are truly admirable. Whenever I had a question, you always had several frameworks at the ready, showcasing your expertise and depth of understanding.

I cherished our work trips and the moments in between, where I got to hear more about your life. Your poems are epic, and enjoying them has been a delightful privilege. You bring a level of grace and charm to everything you do, and your dedication to prioritizing the learning and growth of our team has always been appreciated.

Thank you for everything, Jean."
- Christine Boodie, Consultant

"Jean, it has been one of the highlights of my career to be able to learn from and collaborate with you in this incredible work we do with nonprofit partners. You are consistently the calm voice of reason and certainty in each engagement, somehow always knowing the right course of action and best next step. Yet, you have graciously made space for learning and development for newer team members, encouraging us to actively lead and trust our instincts. I am indebted to you for so much of my development as a consultant.

I wish you the very best as you make this transition, and will be cheering you on every step of the way. You truly are a force to be reckoned with, and I am so glad to know you!"
- Leah Godin, Program Manager

Jean, you have had a profound impact on the nonprofit sector as a thought leader, consultant and coach. From when I was a new ED of Sakhi, to where I am today as the CEO of CRE, you have always been a fountain of support and knowledge. But what I really will always remember is how caring and how thoughtful you are. And honestly, how big your brain is - you remember EVERYTHING and if I needed anything, within the next 30 seconds after speaking to you, you'll not just have coached me through any difficulty, but you'll send over 5 other resources - some of which you created. I'll miss working with you, but I know you'll keep on being amazing and that we'll always stay in touch.

- Tiloma Jayasinghe, President and CEO

"I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have partnered and work with Jean on our internal organizational projects. Her immense wisdom and resourcefulness have been invaluable assets to our team and the organization as a whole. Her transition out of the organization marks the end of a remarkable era. We have been incredibly fortunate to benefit from her extensive knowledge and experience, and I will deeply miss her insightful contributions and collaborative spirit.

I relish all the moments you shared an interesting story about yourself. Your amazing taste in fashion and admirable closet always inspires me. I will miss your beautifully crafted haikus. I was looking forward to having one of my own, but you beat me to it. Jean, I wish you the best on your next adventure."
- Karina Jimenez, Project Manager, Finance and Programs

"Jean you are the 'resource' in CRE with the heart and mind you have shared with our clients and given to us, your colleagues. I will miss working with you and celebrate as you start this next phase of your amazing journey!"
- Andrea J. Rogers, Senior Consultant and DEIA Practice Lead

CRE Clients

"I started working with Jean almost 20 years ago, in the earlier stage of my career as an Executive Director in NYC. Her insight, guidance and mentorship have been a critical part of my success throughout the years. She has been my 'Yoda' when I was navigating difficult leadership challenges. I often brought her in to help me through strategic management crossroads as well as to help me build the kind of team and organizational culture that embraced growth and learning. Both formally and informally she never hesitated to lean in and share her wisdom when I needed it. She has been such a gift to me, and to the sector at large. Her contributions will leave a ripple throughout generations of leaders and the communities they serve. Her legacy is beyond measure and I feel so honored to have had the pleasure of working with her throughout the years."

Dianne Morales

CRE Clients

"I have had the pleasure of working with Jean Lobell for 20 years and across three community based organizations. Whenever we have needed expertise in leadership development and human resources, Jean has been our go-to consultant. We have a stronger team with a culture of growth and learning because of her."

Wayne Ho

President & CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc.

CRE Clients

"For 15 years, Jean has been an inspiration and motivation to me throughout my nonprofit career as well as to other leaders within the industry. Everything she has touched results in success having successfully guided organizations in leadership and management. It is said that when some things end, it's the start of something else that is beautiful and amazing. Sincerely wishing you the best on the start of your new chapter."

Saeeda Dunston

CEO, Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities